Appropriate Play With Your Dog


Photo by J. Nichole Smith |

Playing with your dog provides great exercise and is a great way to increase the bond between you, but it must be done safely. Some dogs get overly excited during play, which can sometimes lead to impulsive behavior or play aggression, so it’s important to stop the game before it gets to that point.

If play gets too rough, it should be stopped immediately. Terminate the game by walking away. This gives your dog a very clear signal that his rough behavior was what stopped the game. As dogs play a lot with their mouths, any deliberate or accidental contact with teeth on skin again stops the game. Boundaries are important for safe play.

Learn more about games you can play with your dog.

If you have children in your household, refrain from indulging in rough play with your dog. Dogs do not discriminate between adults and children, and if rough play is reinforced, your dog will also play roughly with your child. The same applies if children are regular visitors to your home.

There are many games you can play with your dog that does not involve physical contact or being rough. Throwing a ball, encouraging your dog to find hidden toys or playing human hide and seek are some games that dogs love and is a lot safer than rough housing. These are games that children can also play as long as there is always adult supervision.

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